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Op de vijfde rij...

In the podcast series Op de vijfde rij... (From the Fifth Row...), journalist Cesar Majorana tells beautiful and special stories of film from the past and present. The podcast is a collaboration between VPRO Cinema and Eye Filmmuseum.

Header podcast Op de vijfde rij...
illustration: Aafke Bouman

The title of the podcast refers to Cesar's favorite row in the cinema: from the fifth row ('op de vijfde rij') you are close to the action, but you also have an overview of what is happening around you. Op de vijfde rij... is therefore not about the latest film news, but about (largely) timeless stories. Contemplative, investigative and surprising.

In episodes of 20 to 30 minutes, Cesar tells one or two special film stories, from the genesis of a classic and the oeuvre of a maker to the essence of a film festival. He starts each episode with a question and searches for an answer through interviews, reports and archive fragments. This way he takes you to the place where it happens, like the heart of the film market in Cannes. He makes a series of 1 to 4 episodes 3 to 4 times a year.

Op de vijfde rij at the Dutch film archives

Thousands of film reels are stored in the Dutch film archive of Eye Filmmuseum, waiting to be archived and restored. But the profession of film restorer is threatened with extinction: knowledge of all kinds of old techniques is in danger of being lost.

In this episode, Cesar Majorana follows the restoration of Gebroken spiegels (Broken Mirrors) (1984), a feminist classic about sex workers and the second feature film by the later Oscar winner Marleen Gorris, to investigate what such a resurrection of a film entails.

The restoration takes Cesar to a secret bunker, the office of one of the most important producers in Dutch film history, and a grey industrial estate in Waddinxveen, where restorer Jan Scholten spends days in the dark to polish the footage of Broken Mirrors. What makes his work so indispensable? And why should we all watch this 1984 film again?

The digital restoration of Broken Mirrors can be watched at home via the Eye Film Player.

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Podcast Op de vijfde rij...

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The creators

The podcast Op de vijfde rij... is a collaboration between VPRO Cinema and Eye Filmmuseum.


Cesar Majorana


Jelle Schot


Frithjof Kalf

Researchers Eye Filmmuseum

Ronald Simons and Anna Meijer


Julius Jongsma


Aafke Bouman


Joyce Feijen


Tibor Dekker (VPRO Cinema), Mila Schlingemann and Lisette Ruijtenberg (Eye Filmmuseum)

A collaboration of

logo VPRO Cinema
logo Eye Filmmuseum